St George's, Campion capture national basketball titles

Thursday, February 21, 2019

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St George's College and Campion College crowned themselves champions of the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) National Basketball Championships High Schoolboys Under-19 and Under-16 competitions, respectively, at GC Foster College of Physical Education and Sport in Spanish Town on Monday.

St George's, who lost out to Camperdown in the Southern Conference Under-19 final, defeated Christiana High 58-44 to win the national title for a second time. Their first was in 2009.

St George's Jordan Gillies, who had a game-high 24 points and 21 rebounds, was named the most valuable (MVP).

St George's coach Clifford Brown said “the players executed well” in a good all-round team effort.

On the court, both teams had an evenly contested first quarter with the scores locked twice before they went into the break. They were level twice 9-9 and again 11-11 in the early minutes of the second quarter, with St George's gaining a slim 21-18 lead at half-time.

St George's stepped up the tempo in the third quarter and began to outscore Christiana, especially through the shooting of Gillies and Nathan Irving which moved them clear 33-23. The North Street 'Light Blues' saw Christiana rallying late through Akeem Nelson and Orlando Smith as they drew closer 39-32.

The final quarter produced some exciting plays between both teams as they began exchanging baskets with Christiana rallying strongly with St George's leading by only eight points (47-35) at this stage.

From then, St George's found an extra gear and increased their lead with Christiana struggling to keep up and had to watch as their opponents glided to a 58-48 win.

Irving was the other best scorer for St George's with 18 points and 12 rebounds, while Nelson had 18 points and 13 rebounds and Smith 12 points and nine rebounds were the main scorers for Christiana.

With Campion winning the national Under-16 title for the first time, they have also captured the double after they had earlier won the Southern Conference crown to end the season on a high note.

Campion, on Monday, defeated rivals Old Harbour High 61-54 in a repeat of last month's final where they won by two points. Ralph Thomas of Campion, despite being fouled out in the final quarter, was named most valuable player (MVP) of the game scoring 16 points and 10 rebounds.

Campion coach, Ryan Martell, said the victory came as a result of “hard work”.

Meanwile, Campion gained a narrow 19-14 lead in the first quarter, but picked up the pace in the second quarter through the shootings of Micah Swaine, Daniel Isaacs and Ralph Thomas to take a commanding 39-25 lead at the half-time interval.

The victors, through their shooting trio, maintained their dominance in the third quarter as they increased their lead to 59-46 at the break. After having a 13-point lead, Campion's Isaacs fouled out with 3:31 minutes remaining.

Old Harbour began closing the lead through fast breaks produced by Shadine Robinson, Joel Morgan, Chad Avis and Derjean Royal. The St Catherine team cut the lead to five points (59-54) with sixty seconds remaining on the clock, but Campion managed to hold off the late burst to finish ahead 62-54.

Principal scorers for Campion were Swaine with 19 points, six rebounds and seven steals, Isaacs 16 points and 10 rebounds and Thomas 20 points, 13 rebounds and seven steals. For Old Harbour, Shadine Robinson had 12 points and 18 rebounds, Chad Avis got 11 points, 17 rebounds, Derjean Royal 11 points and six rebounds, and Joel Morgan with 10 points and 20 rebounds.

Meanwhile, Southern Conference Under-19 champions Camperdown High defeated St Catherine High 64-57 in overtime to capture third place. The principal scores for Camperdown were Shemar Campbell with 20 points and Tyrese Thompson with 10 points.

For St Catherine, the main scorers were Tomoy Christie with 26 points and nine rebounds, and Sanyveon Henry with 14 points. The teams were locked at 55-55 at full time to go into extra time with Camperdown scoring nine points to their opponents' four.

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